Did you know that most New Year’s resolutions fail? As a matter of fact - how are you doing so far? You might have ambitious plans for your 2019 self which is great! However, one reason why New Year’s resolutions fail is that we often have too high expectations. There’s no doubt that you can do anything 👊 - the problem is that you have the same mindset after the clock ticks twelve on New Year’s Eve.
So, how do you get healthier in a new year? Believe it or not, it’s the baby steps that count! Instead of setting unrealistically high resolutions, try incorporating small habits that positively affect your mind and body. Even if you slip up, you won’t feel like a failure, and it will be easier for you to get back on track. Here are 12 beyond simple and mostly free (who doesn’t love freebies!?) things you can do to make 2019 your healthiest year so far.
Dream BIG, but start small! Let’s be real you can’t change all of your unhealthy habits overnight. On top of that, there are so many new wellness trends that you spend more time thinking about which to choose than actually doing anything. Pause for a moment. If you want to see consistent improvement, start small. Make a list of your unhealthy habits and start with painless changes. Instead of declaring no carbs whatsoever and failing the very next day, choose something that’s realistic to achieve in a short period of time.
For instance, if you drink soda with every meal, start with replacing a cup of soda with a cup of water three times a week. You can increase the cups of water and reduce the cups of soda after you get comfortable with having less soda.
Another example is waking up earlier. Many people would set their alarm an hour earlier immediately. The next morning, they’d feel sleepy and even refuse to leave bed so early. What you can do is set your alarm 10 minutes earlier every day. You won’t even notice the difference! Before you know, you’ll establish a habit of getting up an hour earlier and having more time for yourself. As you get used to the new habit, you can slowly upgrade it until the old one is no longer part of your life. This practice establishes the mentality that healthy change is not hard to make. The secret is in taking baby steps and replacing each negative habit with a new positive one.
Your mantra “But first, coffee,” won’t get you any healthier. No worries, no one is trying to take away your daily dose of caffeine. The world can be quite hard to deal with, and coffee undoubtedly makes things suck less. However, there is one tiny thing you can do for the sake of your health. Instead of having a few cups of coffee a day, swap one of those for a giant glass of water. Drinking water takes minimal effort, yet most of us don’t drink as much as we should. Put this as a note on your fridge or computer in case you tend to forget things when you have less coffee. This simple act will cut calories and excess caffeine while keeping you hydrated.
Show love to the skin you’re in! SPF is a must even if you live in a cloudy and rainy place that doesn’t get much sunshine. The ugly truth is that UV rays are present whenever there is daylight. UVA rays will find you even when you are in your car or desk in the office. Unfortunately, windows don’t have SPF, so don’t take any chances. No matter the season, arm your skin with an SPF of at least 30. This simple habit prevents skin cancer plus keeps your skin young and beautiful!
In general, vegetables can be starchy and non-starchy. Examples of starchy vegetables include corn, potatoes, and beans. These veggies have more carbs and more calories than the other group. If getting fit is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you need to consume more non-starchy vegetables. Fill half of your plate with broccoli, carrots, asparagus, spinach, and other non-starchy vegetables to make your meals healthier. This is an easy strategy that helps you incorporate a healthier diet without worrying about calories. Calorie counting is so 2018! You’ll end up eating a similar amount of food but with fewer calories. Not only that vegetables are low in calories, but they are also high in fibers and nutrients.
Psychology says that the size of your plate or bowl affects the amount of food you eat. Scientists discovered that people who ate from large bowls ate 56% (142 calories) more food than people who ate from small bowls. Isn’t this the simplest trick ever to improve your diet? Namely, smaller bowls can trick your tummy to feel full with less food. If you think that the portions you eat are too big, give this simple trick a try.
Believe it or not, putting together something as simple as a grocery list helps you live a healthier life. This way you can commit to buying healthier products and avoid impulse buys. You will get only to the aisles where the products on your list are located instead of wandering around the store. Otherwise, that innocent walk can make you spot a new tempting item or an old guilty pleasure and add it to your cart.
To elevate your grocery shopping, plan your grocery list and meals at the same time. For example, find a few healthy recipes that you would like to try and immediately add the necessary ingredients on your list. Getting all of the products needed to prepare healthy meals will keep you away from junk food and candies. It takes minutes to make a grocery list, so why not give it a try and see how it goes?
Another effortless way to get healthier in 2019 is shopping on a full stomach. It turns out that the empty stomach is guilty of unhealthy impulse buys. Moreover, when you’re hungry, you are most likely to reach for more high-calorie foods. That’s why you should treat yourself with a nice meal before your next grocery shopping. Combine this trick with the previous one for the best results.
Mindful what? Learning to pay attention to the process of eating can help you become healthier with minimal effort. There are many approaches to mindful eating, some of them are related to Buddism, others to zen and yoga. The idea is to pay attention to your senses, feelings, and thoughts instead of just putting food in your mouth. This technique helps you focus on things like what you are eating, and how fast you are eating.
In this digital age, most of us eat with the phone in our hands or in front of the TV. These “harmless” habits occupy your attention and make you eat past full and ignore your body signals. Mindless eaters eat even when they are bored or sad. Are you guilty?
Here are a few tips to practice mindful eating and become a conscious eater:
Mindful eating is like meditation for food. With regular practice of mindful eating, you will learn to focus on the experience of eating and drinking. This effortless technique will make eating a pleasurable act for you while making your problems with weight and food disappear. Over time you’ll get to learn how different foods affect your mood and energy. Most importantly, you can recognize when you are actually hungry and when to stop eating.
Note that you can’t master mindful eating overnight. Don’t give up because practicing this beneficial technique leads to living a healthier and happier life.
You put on your jammies, get through your night routine and snuggle in your comfortable bed. Then you take the phone in your hands for a quick social media check. Next thing you know it’s 2 am and you are still pinning cute nail designs to show to your manicurist. Your beauty sleep is suffering! Above all, it’s harder to fall asleep when using electronic devices before going to bed. Not to mention there are so many better ways to use that hour or so you have all for yourself. If you can’t get off your phone for whatever reason, try to unplug at least 30 minutes before turning in.
Mentors and life coaches are very popular nowadays. Millions of people claim that having someone like this changed their life tremendously. A more affordable and for some people more favorable alternative is having an accountability partner. This means choosing a person that will motivate and help you to achieve a goal or goals. The best thing about this partnership is the mutual support.
Take exercise buddies for example. Even if you get a gym membership, you might decide to stay in bed on a bad day and skip your workout. You’ll eventually let yourself down. On the other hand, it’s different when you know that your exercise buddy will be there waiting for you while you procrastinate in bed. You are letting yourself and another person down! Not to mention that your buddy might use some tough love to get you out of bed. There you are hitting the gym five times a week! Your accountability partner is doing the same thanks to you. How rewarding!
What gratitude has to do with your health? I am grateful for …. (finish this sentence). Name all of the things you are grateful for in this moment. Notice that warm fuzzy feeling that circulates through your body? Being grateful fixes your mood, brings peace to your mind, and improves your physical and emotional health. It’s one of the easiest ways to shift your mindset.The Secret author Rhonda Byrne claims that being grateful changed her life. Many other successful people swear by gratitude and have made it a daily ritual. There are many ways to make gratitude a daily ritual such as making gratitude journal, jar or wall. Byrne suggests starting your day with “I am grateful for” the moment you open your eyes. It’s free, and it takes minutes to reach that warm feeling and start your day on the right foot. Try it now!
For better health in 2019 meditate every morning. You might say “I can’t even get to work on time!” Keep in mind that stress is the main factor for most of the mental and physical issues that the modern person experiences. You really don’t have an extra 15 minutes in the morning to quiet your mind? Come on! It’s free and feels good, so what can you lose, except your stress? Even some of the world's richest people such as Bill Gates and Oprah meditate. They can have anything money can buy and still practice meditation. It must be more than just a woo-woo thing! Aren’t you curious to discover for the sake of your wellbeing? There are many types of meditation from breath awareness to transcendental. You need to find a meditation that resonates with you.
Who’s up for a challenge? To make 2019 your healthiest year so far, turn this list of twelve simple things into 30-day challenge. You can even add or remove items to fit your needs. The bottom line is to use the next 30 days to build healthier habits and make them stick. Changing a habit can be such a pain, but not with these easy-to-follow tips. All of these things are easy to incorporate into your routine, won’t take much time and won’t hurt your wallet. An extra glass of water or 15 minutes of self-care can go a long way. Making small positive changes will pave the way for bigger ones! Getting healthier with minimal effort is possible. Aren’t you dying to find out how your future healthier self feels and looks? The answers and the results might be just thirty days away!